Kevin O'Brien century gives Leinster victory in Interprovincial

Eddie Richardson celebrates after taking a wicket
Eddie Richardson celebrates after taking a wicket

A superb unbeaten 111 from Kevin O'Brien saw Leinster Lightning overcome the Northern Knights in the final over of their opening game in the Inter-Provincial Trophy series at Skerries.

Chasing a victory target of 260, Leinster had slipped to 189 for 8, but O'Brien produced a stunning century.

Having reached his half century off 58 balls, O'Brien smashed 61 runs from his next 29 balls to ensure victory.

He dominated a ninth-wicket stand of 70 with Fintan McAllister, who scored 11.

The pair were together for just 6.3 overs, the Malahide wicketkeeper playing his part in giving O'Brien the all-important strike.

The Railway Union and Ireland international showed all his experience as he cleared the ropes four times in the closing stages much to the delight of the considerable home support at The Hills Cricket Club.

He was dropped twice, by Lee Nelson and David Simpson, both difficult chances.

Earlier John Anderson (45) and Alex Cusack (46) had both batted superbly to take Leinster Lightning to 136 for 2, but Eugene Moleon (2-56) and David Simpson (2-21) bowled the Knights back into contention before the final O'Brien blitz.

Earlier in the day Nelson impressed with 54 from 56 balls (5 fours, 2 sixes) in a solid batting display by the Northern side.

Nigel Jones (38) and Chris Dougherty (46) shared an opening stand of 63, and with Andrew White (31), James Hall (24) and coach Eugene Moleon providing late impetus, a total of 259 for 7 looked to be just above par.

Albert van der Merwe bowled well to claim 2 for 48, while there were also two wickets apiece for Alex Cusack (2-58) and Max Sorensen (2-60).

"It's great to get the points especially when we looked to be on the ropes at 189 for 8," said O'Brien.

"We looked in a good position with Alex (Cusack) and myself going well after a great innings by John Anderson. However we wobbled in the middle order before bouncing back. We've great depth in our batting and Fintan McAllister scored a hundred at the weekend.

"I knew if I was there at the end we could do it and so it proved. It's always nice to make a contribution but it's all about the team winning."

The next game in the series sees Leinster Lightning play the North West Warriors at College Park from Tuesday 14 May until Thursday 16 May.